Friday, 10 November 2017

Author catch up - Helen Fields

Helen Fields' first book - Perfect Remains - had been sitting on my shelf for several months when Perfect Prey arrived. They were actually only published six months apart, but it felt like a lot longer, as I had seen people raving about them on social media. Since this is the beginning of a series, it made sense to review them together.

Soon after reading Perfect Remains, I suspected that this serial killer series would become one of my favourites. After reading Perfect Prey, I can definitely say it's now in my top crime series list. Both books feature DI Luc Callanach and DI Ava Turner and are set in Edinburgh.

In Perfect Remains, DI Luc Callanach arrives in Scotland and is drawn straight into a murder investigation. Women are being taken and murdered by a serial killer, with very little of their remains being left behind. Can Callanach and Turner prevent another death? Time is running out....

In Perfect Prey, Callanach and Turner are back, investigating a series of gruesome murders. Each victim seems to be a pillar of the community. Their name is featured on graffiti around the city - graffiti that appears BEFORE the crime takes place. What's going on?

I can't praise these books highly enough. I read them in two sittings each, totally engrossed in the chilling plots, kept on the edge of my seat, barely taking a breath.

In both books, the killings are very dark and very twisted with a hint of horror. The writing is stunning and compelling, with vivid descriptions of people and places. It's also emotional - the detectives are very real, flawed but realistically so. Callanach is French/Scottish origin, which provides an intriguing backstory.

This would be a perfect series for the big (or little) screen. There are SO many twists and turns and 'gasp out loud' moments - these intelligent crime thrillers are a brilliant rollercoaster read.  No cliches here - these plots are totally unique. If you're a fan of Fiona Cummins' Rattle (one of my favourite serial killer books), you're likely to enjoy Helen Fields' books too (and vice versa).

I'm looking forward to seeing how Callanach continues to develop as a character, and also his relationship with Turner as the series goes on. So I can't wait to read Helen Field's next book, Perfect Death, which is out in January 2018.

About the books

Perfect Remains
Published by Avon (26 January 2017)

Publisher's description
On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.
In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness…
Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.
It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

Perfect Prey
Published by Avon (27 July 2017)

Publisher's description
Welcome to Edinburgh. Murder capital of Europe.
In the middle of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker.
The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster in an Edinburgh alley, strangled with her own woollen scarf.
D.I. Ava Turner and D.I. Luc Callanach have no leads and no motive – until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim.
It’s only when they realise the words are being written before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim…and the more innocent the better. 

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